The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Anti-Discrimination Law

  • John J. DonohueIII
Reference work entry


This article reviews the major legislative initiatives outlawing discrimination, discusses the theoretical arguments for and against such initiatives, and assesses the impact of these laws on the groups they try to protect. The significant effects of federal law in the first decade after passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act are contrasted with the less optimistic findings from subsequent anti-discrimination interventions. Insights about the social benefits and the costs of the unintended consequences of employment discrimination law apply equally to other types of antidiscrimination legislation, such as mortgage lending and policing.


Anti-discrimination law Becker, G Black–white labour market inequality in the United States Efficient capital markets hypothesis Friedman. M Human capital Insider–outsider problems Jim Crow South Labour market discrimination Sex discrimination Statistical discrimination 

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • John J. DonohueIII
    • 1
  1. 1.